The best way to become good at something is to practice. So, what should you do if you want to draft a better fantasy football team?
Practice, of course!
Leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL season, we will use the 2021 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros) to complete fantasy football mock drafts.
We will use a variety of scoring formats -- PPR, half-PPR, standard scoring and even 2-QB leagues, league sizes and draft slots. The goal is to give you a good representation of the team that you may be able to construct given your league settings and the rationale of why we made the picks we did.
+ Our mocks will be tracked here: Fantasy Football Mock Drafts.
That said, nothing beats practicing yourself so (check out the simulator) and complete a mock in a matter of minutes.
Half-PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 1st Pick
1.01 - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
If you drafted McCaffrey first overall in 2020, you likely find little solace that he was fantasy's top-scoring back over the three-week window in which he appeared (Weeks 1, 2 and 9). In those games, however, CMC handled 76 touches including 17 receptions, racked up 374 yards from scrimmage and scored six touchdowns. All of those numbers were either first or second among running backs in that split timeframe.
2.12 - Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon appeared in only six games in 2020 and he has now missed multiple games in three of his four NFL seasons. That said, Mixon had a minimum of 19 touches in the six games in which he appeared in 2020. Through Week 6, Mixon had more carries (119) than all running backs not named Derrick Henry (123) and was top 10 among running backs in targets (26). With Giovani Bernard now in Tampa, Mixon should be even more involved as a receiver.
More: Joe Mixon 2021 Fantasy Football Profile
3.01 - Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Allen missed a couple of games and was limited in others, but he finished with 100 catches for the third time in four seasons despite playing with a rookie quarterback. Although just shy of the 1,000-yard mark and averaging a career-low 9.92 Y/R, Allen tied his career high (set as a rookie in 2013) with eight touchdowns. Along with Davante Adams and Diontae Johnson, Allen was just one of three receivers to get double-digit targets in 10 games in 2020.
4.12 - D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
Moore averaged only 6.9 targets per game through his first 10 games, but that number jumped to 9.8 over his final five games. In addition, three of his four 100-yard games occurred over that final five-game stretch. Even though his 55.9% catch rate was a career low, the 23-year-old receiver's ADOT (13.2), Y/R (18.1) and receiving yards (1,193) were all career highs.
More: Carolina Panthers 2021 Fantasy Football Projections
5.01 - Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Thielen averaged only 61.7 YPG, but he scored 14 touchdowns in 2020. Only three receivers were targeted more often in the red zone than Thielen (19). While Justin Jefferson broke out as a rookie, Thielen is a strong WR2/WR3 for this team.
6.12 - Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
Moving up to get in front of the Dolphins for the opportunity to draft Williams, it's likely that Williams emerges as the team's lead back sooner rather than later. The 20-year-old back is a tackle-breaking machine.
7.01 - Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
It was a tale of two seasons for Wilson. In his first eight games, Wilson averaged 29.52 fantasy points per game and scored no fewer than 21.9. In his final eight games, he averaged only 17.08 and scored more than 21.9 only once during that span.
Despite Pete Carroll's prioritization to establish the run, Wilson has never finished worse than the QB11 (2016) and has finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback in five of the past seven seasons.
More: Seattle Seahawks 2021 NFL Power Rankings Roundup
8.12 - Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets
The Jets will likely use a committee approach, but at this point of the offseason, Carter appears set to become the 1(a) to the team's other backs. Carter averaged 8.0 YPC as a senior and finished his collegiate career with 82 receptions.
9.01 - Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Goedert missed five games including Week 17 last season, but he was a consistent producer following the team's Week 9 bye through Week 16. Over that stretch, Goedert scored the sixth-most fantasy points among tight ends and ranked top five in both receptions (32) and yards (371). Especially if the Eagles part ways with Zach Ertz, Goedert could perform as one of the top five or six tight ends in 2021.
10.12 - A.J. Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers
With 21/124/2 against the Titans in Week 16, fantasy managers got a glimpse of what Dillon could do in a lead-back role. With Aaron Jones re-upping with the Packers, that won't happen as long as Jones is on the field, but there is plenty of upside of Jones were to miss any time.
More: Green Bay Packers 2022 NFL Mock Draft Roundup
11.01 - Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
It was a disappointing rookie season for Reagor (31/396/1), but the 2020 first-rounder should improve upon those numbers even though they added another first-round receiver to the mix.
12.12 - Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams
With Gerald Everett signing with Seattle and the team trading for Matthew Stafford, there is optimism for improved numbers from Higbee. He is a high-upside TE2 for this squad.
13.01 - Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
The addition of Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney means that targets will fewer to come by for Shepard, but he provides some WR depth.
14.12 - Washington DST, Washington Football Team
15.01 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
16.12 - Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers
Hubbard has elite top-end speed, but Carolina's fourth-round pick will enter 2021 as the handcuff to one of the league's most versatile do-it-all backs. While Mike Davis was one of the most valuable waiver-wire adds in 2020, Hubbard will likely have limited touches and fantasy relevance without another McCaffrey injury in 2021.
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